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Thread: Did You See a Huge Drop in Traffic in August?

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    TopDogger's Avatar
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    Did You See a Huge Drop in Traffic in August?

    I was checking my traffic stats using AwStats and noticed a huge drop in unique visitors for almost all of my WordPress sites.

    There may be two possibilities in play here:

    1) Google ran another update that targeted additional web sites. There have been unconfirmed rumors for some time that they plan to scrutinize WordPress site much more closely. Has anyone seen any info about Google updates during August?

    2) The Brute Force attacks on WordPress sites may be subsiding. The unique visitor traffic for some of my sites shot up 4x during the peak of the attack, but now appears to be going back down to normal ranges. The traffic decline started last month.

    Brute Force Attack on WordPress Sites

    I have not yet seen any info indicating the purpose of the brute force attack, other than to crack the admin password.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin


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    Franc Tireur is offline Senior Net Builder
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    This is what I found, perhaps more things are indicating that google has some technical problems

    Google outage reportedly caused big drop in global traffic

    Google outage reportedly caused big drop in global traffic | Internet & Media - CNET News
    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

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    TopDogger's Avatar
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    I am aware of the Google outage, but that supposedly only lasted for 5 minutes. It is possible that they have internal infrastructure problems. I am seeing a 50% drop in unique visitors for most WordPress sites.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin


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    iowadawg's Avatar
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    I can tell you that both unique visitors and returning visitors to all my blogs went up for the month of August.

    Even the uniques from google and bing are up a lot.

    But then, my blogs are not static.
    I post in two of the blogs a minimum of 2 times a day.
    The other post, I post once and one random old post comes up, thus two posts per day.

    And every blog post made I send out to my twitter followers, plus on forums (see my sig file here) I change my sig files to show the latest post.

    And each post also has seen an increase in rss readers and visitors coming that way.

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    Hi,

    I am up in August, but all my sites start to go up in visits this time of year, so it is hard for me to say. Plus in all honesty I really have no clue how to read the reports that tell about visitors. The big thing I check is the search's done on the site to see what people are looking for from my site and I then try to supply it.

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    AW Stats for 1 of my blogs that I don't update much:

    Month Unique visitors Number of visits Pages Hits Bandwidth
    May 2013 578 2,472 3,362 6,378 67.35 MB
    Jun 2013 589 3,769 4,793 7,064 60.24 MB
    Jul 2013 562 4,655 6,050 8,190 55.53 MB
    Aug 2013 456 2,959 3,446 5,432 47.82 MB

    So a small dip in August, but not huge.

    For another blog in July:
    12 different pages-url Viewed Average size Entry Exit
    /wp-login.php 14,766 3.71 KB 2,760 2,762


    / 1,660

    And August:
    5 different pages-url Viewed Average size Entry Exit
    /wp-login.php 3,081 3.21 KB 902 903


    / 1,423
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    Aquarezz's Avatar
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    Couldn't it be that it has anything to do with the niches in combination with the holidays? I mean, I'm less on my computer now than past month because the weather is better and also there need to be many things prepared for September (for many peoples' children school starts now..).
    |Nico Lawsons

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    TopDogger's Avatar
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    Some of my WordPress sites were getting hammered pretty hard by the brute force attacks. The Limit Login Attempts plugin on one site recorded over 10,000 attempts to crack the admin password. I did put other measures in place to restrict the ability of bots to get to the login pages, so my traffic drops could be a reflection of the bots abandoning their attacks on my sites.

    My traffic drops did go back to pre-attack levels, so that could be the explanation. I was wondering if anyone else had seen the same.

    If you are using Google Analytics, remember that Analytics does not record bots because bots cannot execute JavaScript, which Analytics requires. Bots are invisible to Analytics. You have to view actual server logs with a tool like AwStats to see the bot traffic.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin


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    Franc Tireur is offline Senior Net Builder
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopDogger View Post
    Some of my WordPress sites were getting hammered pretty hard by the brute force attacks. The Limit Login Attempts plugin on one site recorded over 10,000 attempts to crack the admin password. I did put other measures in place to restrict the ability of bots to get to the login pages, so my traffic drops could be a reflection of the bots abandoning their attacks on my sites.
    My ecommerce was setup in ASP adapted for MySQL

    It reminds me the crazier MySQL injection attacks (4600 attacks in 2 hours, the server never went down), and like you said the attempts to crack the admin of my system cart. With my developer I remember that for each attempt, the cart system sent an email automatically. I don't even talk about efrauds attempts, people calling you that they never received their orders and weren't able to provide order #, people said that nothing was in their USPS shipping boxes, etc I almost see it all in 8 years of business...
    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

    Voltaire


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    TopDogger's Avatar
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    My server went down twice in the past year due to attacks.

    The first was during a series of comment spam attacks on my WordPress sites from Chinese spammers. The attacks were so strong that Akismet disabled my account, which let all of the spam comments flow through. I had to block most of China on my server to fix that problem.

    The second was with the Brute Force Attacks. Limit Login Attempts blocked their attempts, but there were so many requests for the login page that the server still went down. I blocked access to the login URLs to fix that. There are over 90,000 infected PCs and servers around the world delivering that attack, so you cannot block IPs. I suspect that they eventually took my sites off of their hit list, or the attacks are ending.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin


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